TSA: What can go on airplanes?

TSA: What can go on airplanes? 49 CFR Part 1540 By Fred Workley The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued 49 CFR Part 1540 [Federal Register: Feb. 14, 2003 (Vol. 68, No. 31)]. This interpretive rule provides guidance to...


What about checked baggage?

Some items prohibited from sterile areas and aboard the cabin of passenger aircraft may be transported in checked baggage, under the following conditions. Passengers may place prohibited items other than explosives, incendiaries, and loaded firearms in their checked baggage, subject to any limitations provided in DOT's hazardous materials regulations. Prohibited items that may be transported in checked baggage include unloaded firearms or starter pistols, small arms ammunition for personal use, club-like items, single containers of self-defense spray, and other articles listed in the interpretive rule. Realistic replicas of explosive and incendiary devices may not be transported in checked baggage because their detection would have the potential for causing delays and requiring the unwarranted expenditure of time and resources on the part of law enforcement personnel.
Permitted items are permitted in a sterile area and the cabin of a passenger aircraft even though they may appear to fall into the broad categories of items on the prohibited items list. These items generally are personal care, medical, and assistive items, and other items that appear to pose little risk or for which there is a compelling reason to allow their presence. For instance, many personal care items such as perfume and hair spray may contain incendiaries. In small amounts, however, they do not pose a risk to security.
Other items, such as syringes included in diabetes-related equipment, and nitroglycerine pills or spray for medical purposes, conceivably could be used as weapons, but are permitted as a medical necessity for passengers with a legitimate need. Screwdrivers and other tools in eyeglass repair kits are also permitted, as are tools used in connection with prosthetic devices. Consistent with Department of Transportation regulations for hazardous materials, passengers also are permitted to carry no more than four books of matches (other than strike-anywhere matches) and no more than two lighters for individual use, if the lighters are fueled with nonrefillable liquefied gas (Bic-type) or absorbed liquid (Zippo-type).

I. Prohibited items

TSA interprets the terms "weapons, explosives, and Incendiaries" to include the items listed below. Accordingly, passengers may not carry these items as accessible property or on their person through passenger screening checkpoints or into airport sterile areas and the aircraft cabins.

A. Guns and firearms
(1) BB guns
(2) Compressed air guns
(3) Firearms
(4) Flare pistols
(5) Gun lighters
(6) Parts of guns and firearms
(7) Pellet guns
(8) Realistic replicas of firearms
(9) Spear guns
(10) Starter pistols
(11) Stun guns/cattle prods/shocking devices

B. Sharp objects
(1) Axes and hatchets
(2) Bows and arrows
(3) Drills, including cordless portable power drills
(4) Ice axes/ice picks
(5) Knives of any length, except rounded-blade butter and plastic cutlery
(6) Meat cleavers
(7) Razor-type blades, such as box cutters, utility knives, and razor blades not in a cartridge, but excluding safety razors
(8) Sabers
(9) Saws, including cordless portable power saws
(10) Scissors, metal with pointed tips
(11) Screwdrivers (except those in eyeglass repair kits)
(12) Swords
(13) Throwing stars (martial arts)

C. Club-like items
(1) Baseball bats
(2) Billy clubs
(3) Blackjacks
(4) Brass knuckles
(5) Cricket bats
(6) Crowbars
(7) Golf clubs
(8) Hammers
(9) Hockey sticks
(10) Lacrosse sticks
(11) Martial arts weapons, including nunchucks, and kubatons
(12) Night sticks
(13) Pool cues
(14) Ski poles
(15) Tools including, but not limited to, wrenches and pliers

D. All explosives, including
(1) Ammunition
(2) Blasting caps
(3) Dynamite
(4) Fireworks
(5) Flares in any form
(6) Gunpowder
(7) Hand grenades
(8) Plastic explosives
(9) Realistic replicas of explosives

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